In The Giver, what two things did the committee consider when giving children their life assignments?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The committee considers each child's interests and skills when giving them their life assignments.  The process actually appears to begin with the Eights, who are assigned volunteer hours, and inevitably gravitate to those jobs which suit their own interests and skills most closely.  This allows the committe to evaluate each child's performance for a few years in a practical situation before deciding on a life assignment for him or her. 

An examination of the assignments given to individual characters illustrates that the committee does indeed take into consideration individual aptitudes and abilities in their choices.  Father, who is quiet and patient, and was admittedly "drawn" to the children in the nursery, was given the job of Nurturer (Chapter 2), and Mother, who is very intelligent, was trained for "a prominent position at the Department of Justice" (Chapter 1).  Father remembers a friend named Andrei who spent all his free time with his construction set and was given the "Assignment of Engineer" (Chapter 2).  Among Jonas's peers, Asher, who is active and never serious, is chosen to be "Assistant Director of Recreation", and Fiona, who is sensitive, gentle, and calm, is assigned to be a "Caretaker of the Old" (Chapter 7).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial